Aga Khan Park
Lebabnon-based landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic designed the formal gardens of the Aga Khan Park. Based on a traditional Persian and Mughal chahar bagh (four-part garden), the gardens are given a natural geometry through ordered plantings of serviceberry trees. They provide a tranquil place for contemplation as well as flexible areas for public programming or private events. Beyond a perimeter of cedar hedges, the gardens flow seamlessly into a Park whose trees — including Star Magnolia, River Birch, Trembling Aspen, and Weeping Cherry — were chosen for their varied colours and shapes as well as their ability to withstand the Canadian climate. Shrubs and plants best suited to attract birds and butterflies are also planted throughout the Park, and include Rose Glow Barberry, Chinese Wisteria, and Forsythia bushes.
Before finalizing his designs, Djurovic was encouraged by His Highness the Aga Khan to visit traditional gardens around the world, such as the Tomb of Humayun in New Delhi and the Alhambra’s courtyard gardens in Granada. Djurovic ultimately aimed not to duplicate these historical exemplars but to communicate “more what you feel and smell and hear” there.
The Aga Khan Museum, the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, and the Aga Khan Park harmonize spirit, art, and nature in a 21st-century context while maintaining a core connection to the history of Muslim civilizations.
AGA KHAN museum
The Aga Khan Museum offers visitors a window into the artistic, intellectual, and scientific heritage of Muslim civilizations across the centuries from the Iberian Peninsula to China.
Its mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage. Through education, research, and collaboration, the Museum will foster dialogue and promote cross-cultural understanding.
As a vibrant educational institution, the Museum encourages the full spectrum of public engagement with its diverse Permanent Collection of more than 1,000 objects and its changing roster of exhibitions and innovative programs — including music and dance performances, theatre, lectures, workshops, and film screenings.
The Aga Khan Museum has an international mandate. It enjoys strong ties with such institutions as the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha while remaining deeply committed to forging relationships with Canadian institutions and communities. Together, these global and local connections generate exciting opportunities to enhance scholarship, inspire temporary exhibitions, and produce public programs honouring the spirit of collaboration upon which the Museum is built.
For more information, please visit www.agakhanmuseum.org.
ismaili centre, toronto
Across from the Aga Khan Museum is the Ismaili Centre, Toronto, designed by the renowned Indian architect Charles Correa. The Ismaili Centre includes a place of prayer (Jamatkhana) for the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslim community as well as spaces for social, educational and cultural activities.
Along with the other Ismaili Centres in Vancouver, London, Lisbon, Dushanbe, and Dubai, the Ismaili Centre, Toronto serves as an ambassadorial hub, representing the Ismaili community's attitude towards the Muslim faith and modern life while extending a hand of friendship and understanding to enhance relationships among faith communities, government, and civil society.
Through its design and function, the Ismaili Centre, Toronto reflects a mood of humility, forward outlook, goodwill, and dialogue. It facilitates the promotion of cultural, educational, and social programs from the broadest, non-denominational perspectives within the ethical framework of Islam. A central purpose of the Ismaili Centre is to encourage mutual exchanges and understanding between diverse peoples, communities, and faiths. The Ismaili Centre is, therefore, not only a place for spiritual search, but also a space for broadening intellectual horizons and fostering an appreciation of pluralism.
For more information, please visit www.theismaili.org/ismailicentres.
The Aga Khan Museum and Park are part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Founded and chaired by the Aga Khan, AKDN is a private, international, non-denominational development organisation that works to improve living conditions and opportunities for people in the developing world.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) – the cultural arm of AKDN – has overseen the Museum and Park's evolution from concept to reality. The construction of the Aga Khan Museum and Park is the most recent addition to AKTC’s initiatives, which include the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Aga Khan Music Initiative, and the Aga Khan Historic Cities Program. AKTC’s aim is the physical, social, cultural, and economic revitalisation of Muslim communities. The Aga Khan Museum is among those AKTC projects that seek to bridge the developed and developing worlds.
For more information, please visit www.akdn.org.